AUBURN — The plot thickened Wednesday on the first day of the murder trial of a Lewiston man charged in the 2013 killing Romeo Parent.

Michael McNaughton, 26, sat alone at the defense table as prosecutors outlined for the jury their version of how Parent died from strangulation in the woods in Greene, and his body later stripped and dumped in a stream in Monmouth.

McNaughton is one of several men charged in connection with Parent’s death.

William True, 20, of Lewiston, who had been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution in connection with the case, was summonsed Tuesday on a charge of murder. He was expected to be indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury Wednesday on that charge.

Nathan Morton, 25, of Greene, who had been indicted on a count of murder, pleaded guilty two weeks ago to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. He is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison. But, according to the terms of his agreement with prosecutors, he will only serve half of that time if he doesn’t violate probation.

In his opening remarks, Assistant Attorney General John Alsop took jurors on a verbal ride through the many twists and turns of the case that started with a burglary and ended with Parent’s strangled, stabbed and stripped body recovered from a stream with the help of cadaver dogs.

Alsop said the players involved were street couch surfers who dabbled in petty crimes and drugs. At the time of the crime, he said Parent was lured to a wooded area in Greene on the promise of a burglary at a camp where there were drugs.

Morton drove McNaughton, Parent and True to the area, Alsop said. Morton waited in the car as McNaughton and True accompanied Parent into the woods. Parent never returned.

The motive for the crime, according to prosecutors, stemmed from Parent’s confession to police that he and True had burgled a Pierce Street home in Lewiston a week earlier. True was later arrested in connection with that burglary.

Defense attorney Verne Paradie told the jury that there were many versions of events floating around the city about what happened and many of the state’s witnesses were just repeating hearsay. The version of events told by Alsop on Wednesday developed only two weeks ago, Paradie said, more than a year after Parent’s killing.

Paradie said police could find no physical evidence linking Parent to McNaughton, only a confession that Paradie labeled as “false.”

The trial will continue Wednesday afternoon and through the week.

This story will be updated.

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